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Students and Faculty Awarded MLK Spirit Awards

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Students and Faculty Awarded MLK Spirit Awards

This year’s annual Martin Luther King Spirit Awards event on January 16, 2017, hosted by the U-M North Campus Deans, was a particularly proud occasion for Taubman College. First, an important faculty award went to Professor June Manning Thomas, whose moving account of her experiences growing up in the civil rights struggle to de-segregate the South and her deep commitment to diversity in urban and regional planning drew a standing ovation from the audience.

Also, the College is proud to recognize and thank four student MLK Spirit Award winners, for their outstanding work and achievements in furthering Dr. King’s goals and values:

  • Allison Kappeyne van de Coppello (MUP), especially for her work for social justice with the organization YouthCARE.
  • Mieko Preston (M.Arch.), for her work in helping to found the National Organization of Minority Students (NOMAS), and on disability issues.
  • Jermaine Ruffin (MUP), for his work on social justice, economic development, and outreach to historically-black colleges.
  • Alexandra Ramirez Stege (MUP), for her work with black and latino communities ranging from Ypsilanti and Southwest Detroit to Mexico.
  • Joel Batterman (doctoral program in planning), for his strong advocacy of public transit.

NOMAS, the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students was awarded an MLK Spirit Award in the organization category for its promotion of equity and inclusion in our college, in the profession, and on the campus.

Taubman College would also like to recognize other students nominated for awards – Jamilla Afandi, Ashish Bhandari, Sara Timbelake, Joi Copeland, Omari Tabor, and Rachel Jaffe – as well as faculty nominees: Milton Curry, Harley Etienne, Joe Grengs, Mick Kennedy, and Sean Vance.